Social Psychology


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Two Routes
to Persuasion

•  Link to Routes to Persuasion; Outline of ELM

Central route: Build strong "central" arguments.

Peripheral route: Use simple rule of thumb heuristics, such as "trust the experts".

Elements of Persuasion

Who says what by what means to whom?

Ψ  Primary Ingredients of Persuasion:

1. The communicator
        •  The effect of source credibility (perceived expertise & trustworthiness) diminishes after a month or so. There is a delayed persuasion of the message content after people forget who said it. This phenomenon is called the sleeper effect.
        •  Physical attractiveness increases the communicator's influence & people respond better to messages that come from an in-group member.
2. The message
          Reasonable or emotional?
        •  You can marry passion & logic in a message to target all the audience.
        •  Well educated, analytical, thoughtful, involved audiences travel the central route
           of persuasion. Disinterested audiences follow the peripheral route, & are
           more affected by how well they like the communicator.
          The effects of good feelings:
        •  Good feeling enhance persuasion! - partly by increasing positive thinking &
           partly by linking good feelings with the message.
          The effects of arousing fear:
        •  By evoking negative emotions, a fear arousing message can be potent.
     3. The media - how the message is communicated
     4. The audience
          How old are they?
              People tend to have different social & political attitudes depending on their age,
             •  Life cycle explanation: Attitudes change e.g. become more conservative,
                as people grow older.
             •  Generational explanation: The attitudes older people adopted when they
                were young persist largely unchanged; because young people adopt
                different attitudes now, a generation gap develops.
          Is their thinking favorable or not?
          Forewarned is forearmed - if you care enough to counter argue.
          Distraction disarms counter arguing.
          Uninvolved audiences use peripheral cues.

Ψ  The Two Routes in Therapy

             •  The peripheral route opens the door to reason, the center route then provides a more enduring attitude & behavior change.

Social Psychology
  Robert C. Gates